#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Silly Things Written about Fiji this week

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Silly Things Written about Fiji this week

ROLL 'EM: Left and right wingers 'commentators' all tanked this week.

All you need is a feverish imagination to find in dumb dictator a true Pacific champion of reform

It's been a week of people saying stupid things about Fiji. First, Graham Davis revealed his ignorance about matters Fijian in the pages of The Australian (Time to Rethink when ‘Bad guy’ is king of Pacific’, Australian 30 March 2011). 

His enthusiasm for Fiji’s coup is nowadays way out of kilter with what anyone inside the country thinks. 

Not for him the sorrowful and downbeat assessment of the political situation in Fiji that you’ll hear from most on Victoria Parade or at the Defence Club. No, this guy is a true-believer in the grandiose objectives of Comrade Frank. 

He thinks Frank is an ace diplomat, who has got the last laugh over Australia and New Zealand by hosting the Melanesian Spearhead Group Summit. What a fuss about so little. In past years, newspapers rarely even bothered to report MSG meetings. China might have bankrolled a shiny new building in Port Vila, but there’s not much sign of any functioning MSG secretariat. 

Bainimarama himself may be obsessed with foreign diplomacy, even though he’s not very good at it, but that’s only really a sign of how little attention he pays to the business of running Fiji’s government at home. 

Graham Davis started out as a devotee of Frank’s electoral reform agenda, but since no one talks much about all that anymore he has to make do with playing the bit-part role of Bainimarama’s cheerleader-in-chief in Australia. 

He likes to make Fiji’s military strongman look like a plucky island leader taking on ‘big brother’ Australia. Never mind Frank’s suppression of human rights within the country. Never mind the economic decline that Fiji has witnessed over 2007-10.

No, Mr Davis sees no need for a change of course in Fiji and celebrates everything Fiji’s coup leader does. My favourite is the comment about Bainimarama’s ‘keen sense of Melanesian diplomacy’. 

Frank used ‘Fiji’s diplomatic influence’, so Mr Davis tells us, to engineer the ouster of Vanuatu Prime Minister Edward Natapei last December. What rubbish. The Change in government in Vanuatu last year had everything to do with rival ‘big men’ struggling over ministerial portfolios, as they have constantly done since 1991.    

This week, too, New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully came up with a perfect strategy for claiming to be having influence in the region when you really have little. 
This needs urgent introduction into the curriculum at diplomatic training school. 

You start saying exactly what someone else says, and then claim that they are influenced by you (a sort of ‘You said, I said’, game). So Mr McCully insisted that Bainimarama commit to elections in 2014, which is exactly what Fiji’s military strongman has been saying since July 2009. 

And to cap that brilliant strategy of taking your opponents unawares by agreeing with them, Mr McCully said that any loosening of New Zealand’s travel bans would depend on a visit to Fiji by the Forum’s ministerial contact group, something which Fiji’s Foreign Minister suggested several weeks ago. 

This was masterful diplomacy by Mr McCully, and was capped by dangling a few spectators’ seats at the rugby world cup as a carrot to entice Fiji’s coup leaders to state again exactly what they have been stating all along.

Of course, all this put Mr McCully potentially out of joint with his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd, who stands firm on Fiji more out of a misplaced commitment to abstract ideals than any understanding of the situation in the ground in Fiji. And Mr Rudd is good at grandstanding. His shrill calls for a no-fly zone over Libya, despite Australia playing no role in this, say much about his strong commitment to getting other people to fight his wars. 

But whether for the right or wrong reasons, Mr Rudd said he would stand firm on Fiji. And so, seeing which way the wind was blowing, his opposition counterpart, the Liberal’s Julie Bishop said her party, if in government, would cosy up to Bainimarama, and remove sanctions.

So now we had the odd spectacle of the two right-wing parties in Australia/New Zealand backing a softening of stance towards a military coup leader largely backed, misguidedly, by those on the left. No doubt the Kevin Barrs, Vijay Naidus, Scott Macwilliams and Crozby Walshes will squirm in discomfort when they find themselves now aligned with the Liberals in Australia and the and Nationals in New Zealand. 

But it speaks volumes about the crazy project of supporting a military strongman on which they all embarked taking at face value Mr Bainimarama’s false assurances that everything one day would be sweetness and light. 

Like the good old Stalinist hacks that these guys have always really been, no matter how bad things get you can always resort to the tired old formula that the ‘end’ justifies the ‘means’. After a rousing singsong around the camp fire and a few stubbies, you might even convince yourself that Frank might still do something about poverty.  

Of course, the right-wingers are just as capable of saying stupid things about the Pacific as those on the tank-loving left. One who excels in this respect is Helen Hughes, who this week captured the cheapest available media soundbite by calling Bainimarama ‘the incipient Gadaffi of the Pacific’. Dreadful as he might be, you won’t see Bainimarama’s tanks rolling round the pot-holed road from Suva to Nadi a la Bengazi. 

And if you impose a ‘no fly’ zone on Fiji, all you’ll stop are the Qantas and Air New Zealand jets as they pitstop en route to Los Angeles, Sydney or Auckland. 

Like Graham Davis, Helen Hughes harangues Australia for allowing its influence to decline, and warns of the Pacific becoming a ‘Chinese lake’, as evidenced by hordes of ‘Chinese advisors’ Beijing supposedly sends to Suva to follow Bainimarama around. 

Beijing, of course, has bigger fish to fry than the whisky soaked Frank Bainimarama. Helen Hughes - whose ignorance of things Pacific is neatly evidenced by her calling the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Derek Sikua, not Danny Philip who took over as head of government last August – has a rabidly right-wing economic perspective that entails the privatization of land and stopping aid. 

Some of her dear old colleagues from the National Centre for Development Studies at the ANU are busy advising Bainimarama and the Ministry of Agriculture on their half-baked plans for land reform. And so, it all goes to show that, whether you are left or right-wing, all you need is a feverish imagination to find in dumb dictator a true Pacific champion of reform.

Charles St Julian  


Anonymous said...

Pretty obvious he's a non Australian resident or grant recipient - radical thoughts such as this have no place in Canberra's current corridors of power or think tanks. More please.

SEMI MEO said...

OK..now,what are you try to say?..Charles St Julian..hog wash on a Sunday??

Anonymous said...

Semi Meo, LIU MURI! From Fijian Nationalist to against iTaukei stands today. Ratu Inoke Kububoci and yoyurself drau tamata liu muri ruarua.

SEMI MEO said...

@Anonymous of April 3,2011 8:25 PM.Pls check your Fiji politic history..yours truly, like many i Taukei, never a member of any extreme Nationalist or Taukei Movement. Liumuri ga na vunitaka ka vakasisilataka na yacana dina vakataki kemuni.

Again I say, Never supported any act of sedition, even 2006 event!! Unbiblical and illegal.

However, today is 3rd month of 2011 and many of us wanna get back asap to democratic rule. So all these hog wash from Hawaii and all other aimless and damning rhetoric only delays the rebuilding process to early elections.

Gone , lai barasitaka na lomamu kei na gusumuni me savasava rawa ni bera na veidigidigi.

Se dua tale nai wale ni noda sasaga e tiko qori???

pasifika said...

The bottom line is the economic environment of the critical mass of indigenous Fijians - itaukei living in isolated and remote villages in the inlands, highlands and islands and their ability to think independently of political wolves of a democratic system of elections. Until the bar is raised nationwide on that, we will not ready for elections in 2014.

Jake said...

You can dream on about election under this regime Mr Meo.When the time comes the willy Vore will come up with another excuse to extend his golorious rule and prosperity for Viti.

Long live King Puaka

sara'ssista said...

@ Enough....Perhaps this regime would have the confidence then given they have had five years, to have some 'independent' research done on what people understand of the the roadmap and charter? If the interest on this blog is any indication we are underwhelmed and ambivalent. All they have done, even ,'even' if there intentions are good to entrentch an indifference as people are not part of this process thay are being told what will happen and if you are not on borad you are the enemy. Croz Walsh, for all his flaws, has some valid criticisms, is still ignored by this regime, and he is a collaborator!!

Anonymous said...

@ sara'ssista.

Take medication - you've had a relapse - naming you know who again in postings? (loves it when you call him names).

Viti Viti said...

Talking about last week, check this out guys. Samoa's Tuilaepa has another go at Bainimarama.

Samoa’s PM takes jab at Fiji’s BainimaramaSaturday April 2, 2011

(APIA) — Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has a peculiar take on the recent turn of political events in Fiji.

This is how Tuilaepa, who delights in pricking bubbles, describes last week’s events,

“It’s like a puppet show and Frank (Bainimarama) is the puppet master- a ventriloquist. And among his slew of dummies and dancing string clowns is his favourite hand puppet named Iloilo.

“Part of last Thursday’s act, Frank asks his favourite hand puppet ‘And who do you think should be Prime Minister Iloilo?’. Iloilo shouts back, ‘Why of course it’s you Frank.”

Prime Minister Tuilaepa giggles.

“But one day soon the puppets will grow a brain and see Frank for the evil puppeteer he really is. It is then the curtains will fall on Frank.”

He adds.

“The whole thing is a political charade and the whole world is watching. Nobody is fooled and no one is laughing. Frank is only fooling himself.”

“It’s a political stick-up and Frank has all the guns.”

Asked what advice he’d give Commodore Bainimarama if he had a chance to sit down with him, Tuilaepa smiles.

“I’d tell him to go back to his barracks. Go back to what he knows best- which is throwing salutes, beating drums and organizing marching parades. He has no business in government. He knows nothing about civilian government. Go put back on his military uniform or..maybe, he’d look better in a prison uniform.” Tuilaepa chuckles.

The three arms of State, the Prime Minister says, are no longer in existence in Fiji.

“There’s no Parliament, there’s no Executive and thanks to Iloilo there’s no more Judiciary, no law and order. He’s also abrogated the Constitution.

“Now my question is, who the heck is he to abrogate the Constitution? The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the only place it can be amended, repealed or abrogated is Parliament where you have the elected representatives of the people.

“The Commodore should get over his greed for power and really sit and think. Is this the road he wants to take his country? Because his actions do not augur well for the future generations of Fiji .”

Prime Minister Tuilaepa believes the only way to return Fiji to democracy and “some state of political sanity” is through the actions of the people of Fiji .

“The reality is, Bainimarama will try to hold on to power with whatever means necessary. Just when you thought he can’t go any lower, the bottom drops.

“The people of Fiji – the men women and children, young and old- will have to stand up and demand a return of their government. Pound the streets in protest marches if they have to. The Church leaders and traditional leaders of Fiji should also come out of their shells and lead the people.

“It has worked in Thailand , it has worked in the Philippines , Vietnam and Indonesia . And if the Fijian people want it bad enough, peaceful and passive resistance will work in Fiji . That is how Samoa gained political independence and that’s how the people of Fiji will finally be free of Bainimarama’s stranglehold on power.

“It’s the only way you can rid yourself of such cheap idiotic dictators.”

[This story, first published late last week in the Samoa government’s newspaper Savali, is republished by Samoa News with permission of the Savali newspaper editor, Tupuola Terry Tavita, who also wrote the story.

pasifika said...

@ Viti Viti

Is the Samoan Prime Minister a Laughing Samoan or is he deranged ? Which Iloilo is he referring to in the present tense ? Beware of the Ghost who Walks, Prime Minister.

Jake said...


The iloilo that Vore looks at daily

Anonymous said...

Semi Meo the man from Saqani, Cakaudrove. You and I are family members, I followed your political strategy as Fijian nationalist and we later joint the Taukei Movement to follow Ratu Inoke Kububoci from Somosomo, Cakaudrove, the liumuri like you. Do you still vivdly remember all that what you told us your gang members ni Taukei Movement mera moku na kai Idia and in which we did. The next thing we know you escaped the police investigation and happily lrive thereafter in Sydney and become a Pastor of a Pentecostal Church. Do not forget that we served our time in prison as a man from Cakau like a man. You liumuri and shut your fucken mouth Pastor Liumuri Sidestep. You know what? You could bit Serevi with his GOOSE-step because o iko edua ga na nomu goose-step stick dabe sara tu ga vakadua mai Sydney ka keimami talabiu tu maiu na nomu gang lialia. You are an OPPORTUNIST leaders we knew wanting to be in Bainiboci's political party book. to be elected in 2014 general election. Keimamin se waraka tiko ga oqo na ilavo ko yalataka vei keimami na talabiu lialia.